If we have our head in the game, and we’re able to be vocal, it can be really helpful in many areas of life. In school, socially, and at work – paying attention and not being afraid to talk are generally good things.
I’ve written about this before, when talking about the importance of speaking up in both school and at work. In the latter, meetings and presentations are times when we should show leadership and the ability to get our points heard while carefully listening as well.
Additionally, when it comes to paying attention, being able to notice the details is a good thing. One example I’ve written about is the concept of being careful to review credit card statements. Sometimes we can see some expenses that shouldn’t be there. Perhaps a subscription or membership we thought we canceled really wasn’t. Whatever the case might be, paying attention to credit card bills is just one example of noticing the details.
Recently I experienced a situation that involved both details as well as speaking up. This time, it also involved saving money!
Actually, it was quite harmless overall. But it made an impression upon me because it was my oldest kid who showed the ability to notice the details and say something about it.
Here is what happened. The two of us were at a local sandwich shop, picking up lunch. I scanned the menu searching for what I thought was the healthiest option, and ordered it. Then, I asked my daughter what she wanted. She picked out a kid’s meal.
So, I made the order for her as well. The guy behind the counter had a slightly annoyed look on his face, but tried to nicely say that the meals are supposed to be only for kids 8 and under. Thus, I really should get something else. I didn’t even think twice about saying sorry to him since she’s a bit older than that, and then asking her what she wanted to get instead. I simply hadn’t seen that fine print beforehand.
She paused, looked at the menu board, and then quietly told me “It only says recommended for kids 8 and under.”
At that point, I sheepishly told the guy behind the counter that the sign actually said recommended for children 8 and under, not only for kids 8 and under. Therefore, since it’s not prohibited, I’d like to order the kids meal.
He looked up again, clearly saw how the wording actually was on the menu board, and then looked back at me. With his own sheepish look, he turned quite nice and said (paraphrasing here) “I guess its okay then. That’s fine”
As a result, I might have saved a couple of dollars.
Now, that’s not exactly a big deal or a cause for a big celebration. It won’t change anyone’s financial situation. The few dollars saved isn’t the point here.
However, the bigger point is that sometimes you have to pay attention to the details. If you’re careless, or just listen to what someone else says, you might lose out. Beyond that, the next step is to actually have the nerve to speak up and nicely debate the other person or business on the issue.
In this case the money at stake was very small. But in another case, it could be a lot of money. As we know, the small financial victories are fun to get, but the lessons we can learn from them can help us secure the big financial victories that can go a long way to helping us. Sometimes, we can even learn these lessons from a kid!
My Questions for You
Have you ever caught a discrepancy or mistake that ended up saving you money?
Do you ever hesitate to speak up, or can you discuss without reservations about it?